'Unserved' interpretations of service satisfaction
Satisfaction with services has traditionally been explained with the help of service attributes. While these attributes have been good predictors of satisfaction, the relationship could possibly be better explained with the inclusion of additional variables. We draw on the literature in consumer behavior where situational variables in combination with product and consumer characteristics have been shown to be better predictors of consumers' behavior than consumer or product characteristics by themselves. Studies in consumer behavior have also established a direct link between affective state and consumers' behavior, the argument being that different states prime different goals, thus affecting the importance of attributes relevant under different situations. This is the basis of our study to show that situation-related affective state moderates the effects of service characteristics on satisfaction and the resulting outcomes of such satisfaction. A model incorporating the effects of situation-related affective state in the existing relationship between service characteristics and satisfaction is developed and tested to not only demonstrate the moderating role of situational emotions in the relationships but also its impact on the strength of these relationships.
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